Each year, I find myself adding more and more products to my personal inventory. Rather than doing a hits and miss post, I’m focusing on universal products for natural hair, relaxed hair and transitioning hair that worked well in 2016.
Products for Natural Hair vs. Relaxed Hair
Products for natural hair and relaxed hair usually vary in thickness and weight. Generally speaking, products for natural hair are thicker and heavier than products marketed for relaxed hair. However, women with relaxed hair can use products for natural hair, assuming the products are not too heavy for their hair type. My hair is dense and coarse so when I had relaxed hair, I could get away with using thicker, heavier products unlike women with thin or fine hair.
A pre-shampoo treatment should offer the hair some benefit whether it’s softening (moisture conditioner), strengthening (protein conditioner) or protection (oil or hair & scalp treatment). Komaza Pona Hair and Scalp Treatment exfoliates the scalp to remove dead skin and product buildup, prevents hair loss, minimizes excessive hair shedding, thickens hair shaft, stimulates hair growth and eliminates dandruff. It contains therapeutic ingredients to treat folliculitis, psoriasis and eczema. I’ve been using this treatment every wash day for about two years and I’m still very pleased with the benefits it offers my hair and scalp.
Sulfate shampoo is ideal when oil, heavy butters or others types of product buildup needs to be removed from the hair. A good sulfate shampoo like Nexxus Therappe will not strip the hair of moisture nor leave it feeling dry. My hair is left soft, moisturized and manageable after each use.
Sulfate Free Shampoo
I prefer sulfate shampoo because keeping my hair free from product buildup ensures deep conditioners properly penetrate and hydrate my hair. However, there are times when a sulfate free shampoo comes in handy. For those moments, I use Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Shampoo. I really like this shampoo because although it’s sulfate free, it’s cleansing properties makes my hair feel almost as good as a sulfate shampoo. I’m never left with a waxy film that some sulfate free shampoos deposit onto the hair.
Clarifying and Chelating Shampoo
Keeping hair free from product and mineral buildup keeps dryness and breakage to a minimum. Therefore, I use Redken Cleansing Cream once monthly to deep cleanse my hair. This shampoo is very gentle but effective. Some clarifying shampoos are so harsh that you have to follow up with a moisturizing shampoo to replenish moisture to the hair. Not this one! It’s moisturizing on its own.
Kera Minerals Deep Conditioner is an excellent conditioner that’s fast acting and works with and without heat. This is perfect since I now deep condition for 10 minutes while in the shower.
I don’t co-wash often because again, shampooing my hair to keep buildup to a minimum works best. However, Aussie Moist is an excellent co-wash conditioner. Hydrating and loads of slip.
The Komaza Protein Strengthener is the perfect amount of protein where my hair is never at risk for protein overload.
Leave In Conditioner
The Bekura Honey Latte Leave In Conditioner stole my heart in 2016. Simply put, it’s hydrating and defines my curls to perfection.
Cantu Repair Cream is an on the shelf option that is a balanced leave in conditioner that offers lasting moisture. My hair generally has a hit and miss reaction to hydrolyzed protein but in this formula, my hair responds really well.
Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Shine Conditioner are great moisture based leave in conditioners that’s available on the shelf. The smoothie is thicker and better for coarse hair whereas the curl and shine conditioner is better for fine hair.
I have just as many moisturizers as deep conditioners but the Naturalista Juicy Moisturizer proved to be an excellent option to keep my moisturized, frizz free and super shiny.
Sealant / Hair Butter
While transitioning and as a natural, sealing with a hair butter helps my hair retain moisture far better than sealing with oil. My favorite hair butter of the year is My Honey Child Type 4. This is a water based hair butter which should be used as a moisturizer but my hair prefers it as a sealant to lock in moisture.
In a previous post, I shared my Top 3 Detanglers that I was loving – Cantu Care for Kids, Shea Moisture for Kids and Mane n Tail Detangler. That list still holds true, but I’ve since found a new one: Paul Mitchell the Detangler. This detangler is pure slip in a bottle. I use it to shower detangle and the comb glides through my hair with ease. It works so well that I no longer detangle with a comb pre-wash or post-wash. I only show detangle now.
Several times per week, I use Komaza Bountiful Mane to massage my scalp. It keeps my scalp moisturized and nourished. Since using this product, I haven’t experienced any dryness, itching or flaking throughout the week.
Keeping the scalp healthy is an important aspect of growing long hair. In addition to exfoliating my scalp with Komaza Pona Hair and Scalp Treatment, I also use a shampoo brush to massage my scalp to stimulate hair growth and and to lift product buildup from my scalp. This ensures my scalp remains healthy and it also promotes a healthy hair growth cycle.